in which all who partake worthily shall be partakers of the benefits of the sacrifice Once made for you, and for all, never afterwards to be repeated.

"But in this feast which I now institute, there can be no real blood, no real flesh, as was the case when you partook of the slaughtered animal in the former typical sacrifices; for the victim, in the present case, is not one of the animals, is not literally a Lamb, but Myself, whose body will shortly ascend to Heaver^ and become glorified.

"I Therefore ordain a feast, EmbleMatical of my body and blood. I appoint the two great supplies of strength and nourishment, bread and wine, to stand in the place of the sacrificed victim; but they, duly received, shall produce the same benefits on you as you would have expected in your former sacrifices, when you actually fed on a real lamb, the offered victim; and 1 call them, because in effect and Virtue they are the same, my body and my blood. Do not suppose for a moment, that this is not to All Intents And Purposes a sacrificial

feast feast on the sacrifice of myself; but take this bread.; for given thus, it is, and shall be in effect, my body; drink this wine> and it shall prove to you, in its mysterious benefits, the real blood of the victim, that is, of myself, to be offered up on the morrow, on the cross as on an Altar. The bread and wine are still but created things, Emblems only and Symbols; yet by my ordinance, they shall constitute, till my second coming, the feast on this last great sacrifice, and convey the benefits of it to all faithful and penitent parta" kers."

Thus understood, there appears the greatest propriety in the words,," Ye shall ** eat my body and drink my blood *."

* "The verily and indeed taking of what is called by our Church an inward and spiritual Grace, must denote that the devout communicant does actually receive the benefits understood in the Gospel by the Figure of eating the Flesh and drinking the Blood of Christ; that is, the confirming our trust and faith in his name, the quickening our remembrance of all he has done and suffered for us; which will naturally help and strengthen our Disposition To Virtuous and Good Actions, refresh our languid hopes in the administration of Providence, and rekindle our cooling Charity towards our fellow creatures." Tucker, vol. vi. p. 113.


No mode of enunciation could have been
so forcible, none so immediately adapted
to point out their reference to an actual
sacrifice. If he had said, you shall eat
bread and drink wine after I am depart-
ed, in remembrance of your Friend and
Benefactor, the duty indeed had been
indispensable, and would have formed a
pleasing exercise of gratitude. But we
might have done the same for any other
friend and benefactor, with no other be-
nefit than the consciousness of grateful .
behaviour, and the pleasure of dwelling
on the goodness of the departed. But
by the words body and blood, we have
the idea of a Sacrifice for sinners; of the
Supreme Being propitiated by it (accord-
ing to the ideas then prevailing all over
the world); of atonement made; and all
the benefits of Christ's precious blood
shedding, emphatically pointed out, "to
our great and endless comfort."

To a people among whom sacrifices were familiar, the terms of eating the body of the victim, could not be repellent. The Jews, indeed, abstained from blood; but the institution of the Eucharist

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]


nst was not to be confined to the Jews, but in a short time extended to all people who should call on the name of Jesus; Gentiles as well as Jews, to whom sacrificial Feasts, without any prohibition from Blood, were familiar modes of conciliating the Deity, and of deriving protection and every other Blessing from Heaven; therefore the introduction of a Feast on a Sacrifice was the easiest and most probable method of introducing, to the . Gentile world, the Christian Religion *.

* "Our Saviour did "not institute a rite altogether new to the world: but accommodated this solemnity to the ordinary] and vulgar apprehensions of all mankind,


Certe non in hoc tantum, sed et in Baptismi Sacra mento, videtur omnino Christus se non Heboerorum tantum,sed et Gentium, in idem Fcedus cooptandarum, Captui accommodasse. Grotius.



Of the true Knowledge of Christ attained in worthily receiving the Sacrament, by the unlearned and xvell-disposed Christian.

Jlhere were two trees in Paradise, the tree of knowledge and the tree of life; and if there were two such trees in the present age, many of the sons of Adam, like himself, would be most anxiously engaged in shaking the boughs of the tree of knoAvledge, while, thus occupied, they would wholly neglect the tree of life.

It is, indeed, a great misfortune that many teachers are trained to the profession of divinity, not so much by an early study of the Scriptures, or by devotional exercises ; not so much by the Evangelists and Apostles, as by the Rule of Three and Practice, by Cocker's Arithmetic, Euclid's Elements, and Maclaurin's Algebra; the only things studied by many, as preparatory

« ForrigeFortsett »